This is my third pregnancy, and while there are similarities with the first two, there are new and exciting twists of embarrassing behavior. When I was carrying Briar I was plagued with an aversion to red meat, which meant that if Sean made it for himself I would literally gag at the sight of it. I think something about the hormones translated what was actually on his plate to some sort of obscene image of slaughtered woodland creatures. It was bad telenovela type dramatics on my part and the memory turns me six shades of red, especially as I remember that Sean said nothing, as I doused everything I ate, from rice to cottage cheese, with green Tabasco sauce, Chinese mustard and banana peppers.

My pregnancy with Avery was fine as far as red meat went, but my oh my, the midafternoon nausea was such that I could smell certain coworkers before their cars turned into the parking lot. I struggled with workplace conversations as the scent of people’s scalps seemed to take on an almost tangible quality and hit me with the force of a mack truck. Again and again.

And now we have this pregnancy, and a new tick and an old one that has simply grown more pronounced that in the previous two pregnancies. I have a debilitating intolerance for dog hair. It is everywhere and even our mighty Dyson vacuum, for which I am impossibly grateful, can not touch it. It coats every surface, dancing across the hardwoods upstairs, mocking me with its invincibility to mop, vacuum and Lysol wipes. Downstairs it covers the carpet like downy duck feathers, so total is its coverage that at first galnce it seems to be the carpet. Then I lift and it comes up like peeling skin on a three day old sunburn. Long, black hairs catch on sippy cups, they cement themselves to apples and bananas. Runny noses are compounded by hairs clinging inside tiny red nostrils. Plates, coutners and table tops bare the damned black whiskers like ancient bugs in amber. I am maddened by it, consumed in both waking and sleeping hours with a futility that harkens images of Bill Murray in Caddyshack. I hate it and I hate myself for it, but I cannot shake it, literally or figuratively.

And the thing that is stronger than ever before? My inability, or unwillingness depending upon who you talk to, to censor myself. It simply feels as if there is no reason not to call things for what they are. You can imagine the things that come out of my mouth as I slice tomatoes and dog fur flutters down from parts unknown, and coats the bright red flesh with coarse lab hair. It ain’t pretty.

Anyone got any pearls for me?